When you go deep,the small stories inside the big picture are always what get to you. This iswhat happened to senior writer S.L. Price reporting his piece about SportsIllustrated's Sportsman of the Year, Dwyane Wade. As he peeled back layers ofthe life of the great Miami guard, Price got to a place he calls "a meanpocket" of Chicago where "gangs and drug dealers roamed the blocks;gunshots popped day and night." Dwyane was in kindergarten then, countingon his 11-year-old sister, Tragil, to get him ready for his first schoolpicture while their drug-addicted mother slept.
"Both Dwyaneand Tragil started telling of how they'd leaned on each other to survive askids," says Price, "and how he kept supporting his mom through so manydown years. He spoke of how, with all his success, the biggest thrill he getsis seeing his mom clean and sober. That's when I realized that Wade's biggestwin didn't come last June in Dallas. It came over the last five years when,even as Dwyane was becoming the league's most accomplished young player, he andhis mother and family finally broke through. They'd actually made it. They'dsurvived the worst that urban America can dish out, and through a toughdevotion carved out for themselves a measure of peace."
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WALTER IOOSS JR.
ON THE BALL It is inspiring to learn about Wade's courage as a small child.
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